In the Sunday Op-Ed column “New tech, old school problems,” John Brady described how the current generation of youths spends the majority of their lives multitasking and the problem this presents educators in keeping their attention. Speaking as a 26-year-old who attends Prince George’s County Community College part time and works as an information technology professional (senior systems administrator), I completely agree with his assessment. Although his column focuses on the effect technology has on the youth and those attending institutions of higher learning, it seems to have a greater effect on the adults in society.
Because of my occupation, I am able to see the immediate effects technology has on adults in the workplace. I remember replacing an executive’s BlackBerry for the third time and asking him if there was a reason he required so many replacements. He said in a very casual way, “Yes, the first BlackBerry my wife threw out the hotel window during our vacation, and the second one she threw in the ocean on a different vacation.”
Although this is only one example of the effects of technology on adults, it plays into the larger picture of what role technology should have in our everyday lives. Just because we are able drive to dinner and talk on the phone to our secretary while planning a meeting for next week, should we?
As youths use technology to download music, chat and send pictures, adults use it as a means of livelihood, sometimes to the detriment of their families. Technology is here to stay, and it has forever changed the way we do business, the way we learn and the way we run our lives. But with adults, unlike with myself and my peers, there is a family hanging in the balance.